Robredo mistaken, misinformed on gov’t’s drug war – Abella, Panelo | Inquirer News

Robredo mistaken, misinformed on gov’t’s drug war – Abella, Panelo

/ 07:35 PM March 15, 2017

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Wednesday said that Vice President Leni Robredo was mistaken in her claims of “palit-ulo” scheme in the government’s war on drugs.

“Eight months into our campaign against illegal drugs, Vice President Robredo, suddenly refers to an alleged ‘palit-ulo’ scheme – which she mistakenly describes as substituting a relative for a missing drug personality,” Abella said in a statement.

“While she has the right to speak freely on matters of public concern, she also has the responsibility to be careful with her statements, especially avoiding unfounded allegations from questionable sources,” he added.


Robredo revealed earlier that a “palit-ulo” scheme is being employed by the government forces in poverty-stricken areas in the name of President Duterte’s war on illegal drugs.


“They (communities) told us of the ‘palit-ulo’ scheme which means ‘exchange heads’ where the wife, husband or relative in a so-called drug list will be taken if the person himself could not be found,” Robredo said in a recorded video message uploaded by an anti-drug network last Monday.

Robredo’s message will be played at the forum organized by the Washington-based Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet) for the 60th United Nations (UN) Commission on Narcotic Drugs annual meeting on Thursday at the Vienna International Center.

READ: Robredo reveals gov’t forces use ‘palit-ulo scheme’ in drug war

“The Philippine National Police’s (PNP) ‘palit-ulo’ scheme, which the Vice President gravely misunderstood, refers to a commitment of a drug suspect to provide assistance in the arrest of  a ‘bigger fish’ in the illegal drug syndicate, whether an up-line/superior/supplier of the arrested suspect, in exchange for lighter charges,” Abella explained.

He also cited that the President has signed Executive Order 15 recently that aims to create an Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs and Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force, “wherein the entire bureaucracy has been harnessed to assist in the implementation of the anti-illegal drugs campaign.”

Abella said that the committee is chaired by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), with the following as members:

  • Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB)
  • Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)
  • Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • Department of Health (DOH)
  • Department of Education (DepEd)
  • Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
  • Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
  • Department of Agriculture (DA)
  • Department of National Defense (DND)
  • Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)
  • Philippine Information Agency (PIA)
  • Public Attorneys Office (PAO)
  • Office of the Solicitor General (OSG)
  • Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)
  • Philippine National Police (PNP)
  • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
  • Bureau of Customs (BOC)
  • Bureau of Immigration (BI)
  • Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
  • Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC)

In a separate statement, Salvador Panelo, the President’s legal adviser, echoed Abella and said that Robredo’s online video message is “misleading and consists of bare assertions that are not based on evidence.”

“Thus, her intention to present the same tomorrow (Thursday) during the annual meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs is not only misplaced, but also unfortunate,” he added.

Panelo said that the war on drugs has indeed resulted unfortunate casualties, but these are attributed to the “silencing operations” among the leaders of drug mafias and that the alleged 7,000 casualties are attributable to legitimate police operations, not to any extrajudicial killings.

“Further, the Administration’s war on drugs is not fixated on the user thereof; rather, it seeks to suppress the proliferation and trafficking of such illegal substances. In fact, the Administration has focused more resources on the rehabilitation of drug users and dependents,” Panelo further explained.

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He added that the government measures to address poverty and the general welfare of the people necessarily have to be complemented by the eradication of illegal drugs.

TAGS: Leni Robredo, war on drugs

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